June is a magical time for gardeners. All risk of frost has passed now, which gives us an exciting opportunity to grow a wide range of tasty vegetables from seed. Unless you have a balcony or patio garden, there’s no need to bother with pots and compost. Seize the moment and sow seeds directly in the ground where you want you want your plants to grow.
June bestows blessings upon us – a final opportunity to grow incredibly productive and delicious vegetables this summer! Savvy gardeners who sow cucumber and courgette seeds directly in the soil now avoid the hassle of washing up pots, the time needed to pot up seedlings, and the expense of buying compost.
All risk of frost has passed so you don’t need a greenhouse.
I never purchase supermarket watermelons; I dislike their lack of flavour and irritating hard seeds. However, after years of growing melons for Melon Trials, I hope I always spend spring and summertime growing watermelons! The best watermelon I’ve grown so far is ‘Little Darling’. I adore this watermelon’s sensationally sweet flavour and refreshingly crisp texture. ‘Little Darling’ produces hardly any seeds, the few seeds that do materialise are soft and not noticeable.
Chilli pepper and sweet pepper plants grow slowly and can take longer than we expect to reach maturity and produce peppers. January is my favourite time to sow chilli and sweet pepper seeds, as it gives the plants a longer growing season with extra time for fruit to develop and ripen, compared to the standard spring-sown plants.
Spring and summer weather often leaves plants and gardeners wilting during punishing droughts and intense heatwaves. Raising plants in containers requires far more water than growing plants in the ground. If you’ve got a penchant for container gardening, I’d like to introduce you to self-watering containers: literal lifesavers for plants and gardeners!
Welcome to my calendar of orchid plant sales, orchid auctions, orchid shows, orchid talks, orchid garden openings, and orchid events!How to Use this Calendar
NB: This calendar is dynamic and will update as I add new events. Please don’t waste paper or resources printing this calendar and remember to check back for new events as I add them!
Spring is such an uplifting time in the garden. As the days lengthen and spring flowers come into bloom, the anticipation of the wealth of flowers we’ll admire in our countryside and gardens over the coming seasons provides me with an abundance of reasons to be thankful. If your garden is looking a little lacklustre at the moment, don’t worry – there are some delightful spring-flowering perennial plants available at nurseries and garden centres, which will brighten up our gardens this spring and in the years that follow.
Garden Designer Jackie Currie and Plant Heritage won a Gold Medal for their ‘National Plant Collections Everywhere!’ exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021! This stunning exhibit showcased plants from National Plant Collections grown inside living rooms, glasshouses, gardens, and allotments, across the UK.
One of the stars of the exhibit was the Salvia caymanensis, grown by John and Linsey Pink who hold a National Collection of Salvias.
Welcome to part two of my overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 (if you missed part one, please click here). Let me take you on a tour of the gardens and exhibits I visited at this year’s very special autumn RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021…..
April is a truly generous and forgiving time of year for gardeners. This month provides us with numerous opportunities to grow an extensive range of exciting and exotic fruit and vegetables from seed.
Although there’s a wealth of seed choices on offer, not all of the unusual edibles we can grow are guaranteed to succeed in our variable climate and not every variety produces the best flavoured harvest.
Here’s my calendar with the dates and details of plant sales, festivals, and other super opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants! Great quality, rare, hard to find, unusual, choice plants and old favourites can all be found at the specialist plant fairs, plant sales, plant and seed swaps, and other events that I have listed for you below.
Every year, I trial new plants and products in my quest to discover the top performing composts and the tastiest and most productive edible plants.
Last year, the Quadgrow Self Watering Planter performed exceptionally well in my Trials. Growing tomatoes is easy with the Quadgrow; simply top up the Quadgrow’s 30l reservoir with Nutrigrow and water and the planter will automatically water and fertilise your plants for around two weeks.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for using peat-free composts. Every year, I uncover the best quality peat-free composts on the market in my peat-free Compost Trials. I ran this Compost Trial to help you find top quality composts that will enable your tomato plants to produce bumper harvests of tomatoes!
Chilli pepper seeds are usually sown from February to the end of April. However, these vegetables command a long growing season, requiring sufficient time for the plants to mature and their fruit to develop and ripen. Accordingly, I find that chilli peppers are best started from seed sown in January.
Nurseries stock a limited range of chilli pepper plants in springtime, but gardeners who grow chillies from seed are blessed with the choice of a vast range of varieties.
Earlier this year, Greenhouse Sensation sent me a Quadgrow Self Watering Planter to try. If you’ve not seen a Quadgrow before, it’s a plastic container growing system (made from recycled plastic) that uses capillary action to provide plants with automatic watering. This clever design alters the way we irrigate plants. Instead of watering plants in the traditional sense (watering plants from above with a watering can), with the Quadgrow we deliver the water and nutrients right where they’re needed – at the plants’ roots.
This year, I’ve been running more Trials with Tomatoes; I’ll share all the results from my Tomato Trials with you in due course, but today I wanted to show you my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter. Most of my tomato plants have now given up or been affected by Late Blight, but the tomatoes in my Quadgrow have (for the moment) escaped this disease.
As autumn’s whisper reverberates through our landscape, many plants are now fading, as they respond to the changing season and become rapidly aged by the ever lengthening nights’ embrace. This is a season of salvage, protection, and celebration; it’s time to bring tender plants inside our homes, conservatories, and glasshouses, and to gather in our harvest.
Growing tomatoes is so much fun! Tomato plants will grow happily in a sunny border or in large containers of peat-free compost.
There are two types of tomatoes – cordon and bush tomatoes. Cordon (also known as indeterminate) tomatoes can form tall plants, reaching 2m or more! Don’t worry – you can ‘stop’ your plants from growing any taller by simply pinching out the tip of your plant’s stem, when your plants have reached your desired height.
Holidaymakers buying plants or collecting plant material as holiday souvenirs often bring home more than they bargained for and unwittingly transport pests, diseases, or invasive species into the UK; causing lasting, and sometimes irreversible, problems for themselves and UK horticulture as a whole.
Instead, make your holiday excitement last all summer, every year, with UK grown plants that will flourish inside your conservatory or glasshouse, at your garden or allotment.
I feel a strong and passionate desire to protect our planet’s peat bogs. This is an urgent matter, it’s not something we can keep putting off to consider again in the future, at a more convenient time – for the peat that is being extracted now can’t be saved and so if we continue as we have done in the past, the opportunities we have in our hands, right in front of us now, will be lost forever.